Hey, I'm Matt Mills, a Digital Artist and Software Engineer from Austin, Texas. I grew up with a fascination for computers and design. I would spend hours in my room listening to music, playing video games, drawing, or trying to figure out how something worked on the computer. I started out programming games in BASIC and building websites in Notepad. That led me on a path to college to learn more about software and building applications. The memories of those years are a bit hazy, but I'm sure I had a lot of fun. It wasn't until after college that I ended up really diving back into art.
With a day job that consisted of sitting in a cubicle and fixing website bugs for a major corporation, I needed a creative outlet. A friend showed me that you could design and model your own video game characters and worlds using Unreal. I was hooked.
I spent every free minute learning to use Maya to model and render 3D characters with dreams of one day working at Pixar. I connected with other artists on communities like Deviant Art and started to really love the process of creating.
I never made it to Pixar. But, my 3D portfolio and background in web development did help me get a foot in the door at one of Disney's video game studios to build websites with an option to move into an art role in the future. My experience at Disney was amazing and very eye-opening as to what it actually takes to make video games. I have the utmost respect for the artists, designers, engineers, and producers working in that industry. It's not easy. And, after a couple of years at Disney, and driven mostly by imposter syndrome and a desire to be able to better support my family, I decided to abandon a career path as an artist and focus on web development. This is a decision I still question to this day.
I bounced around working in tech and software and eventually started a software company with some friends. During that time, I didn't create much art. But, something was missing. That creative outlet wasn't there anymore. The fire was still burning but it had nowhere to go. This is what led to the second phase of my creative journey. I started creating again. Every day. And I found a vibrant artist community on Instagram to share my artwork with. It renewed my passion for art and design and has fueled a whirlwind of creation over the past few years.
Today, I continue to maintain a full-time career as a Software Engineer, while freelancing as a visual designer, and I have recently added on a Co-Founder and CTO role at Art Grab to my resume. It's a lot, I know. One day, I still hope to be able to focus on art, design, and animation full time. But for now, it is creating the artwork you'll find on this website and on my Instagram feed that keeps me sane.
I've had the opportunity to work with some amazing clients and teams over the past few years. I'm always looking for new and challenging projects to work on, so please reach out if you have an idea you need help executing.
Clients include: ODESZA, Bassnectar, Opiuo/CloZee, Louis Futon, Red Light Management, Tenderfoot TV, Dell, Disney and more.
I get asked a lot about what software I use to create my artwork. Over the years, I've used a wide variety of software applications on various projects. But, my current process relies heavily on Adobe Photoshop and a plug-in called FilterForge. I also utilize Maxon's Cinema 4D for creating 3D elements and animations.